Tag Archives: Fashion

Welcome to Forever 21 where the size isn’t right, but we have everything. – Why, Forever 21 is headed towards Bankruptcy

Photo by Ken Nishimura/Los Angeles Times

Originally this was a school project. Checking clothing sizing at a major department store. I moved to a smaller town of about 50,00 people, mostly students a few years ago, so I decided the biggest downtown retailer is Forever 21. My quest for sizing differences was leading me there.

Then I saw the news. Forever 21 is on the verge of bankruptcy. News is reporting they ARE in Chapter 11, but upon further research I found they are currently ALMOST there.

Los Angeles-based Forever 21 is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection as soon as this month, ideally with a restructuring plan in place, the people said. Company advisers have been working on obtaining a bankruptcy loan package that would give the retailer about $75 million to continue operations during the case, Bloomberg previously reported. – LA Times

The real question is, why are they collapsing? The economy is tanking, but their prices are cheap. They seem to be a busy store with a lot of retail goods, making mad sales.  Who hasn’t walked and bought something on impulse? From lip gloss, to hair accessories, underwear, to sportswear, they have it all.

Starting with the window display. I have been drawn in by the items I see. Put together cute outfits and accessories scream, “buy me!”. Once inside the store I can NEVER, EVER find them, or find them in my size. I had to run all the way tot he register to find one employee, who was watching the register, to help me find this dress. Then it was placed far away from the actual item making it hard to find.

Stocking new items on display, an making them easily found is a must for any retailer. We want these things, let us buy them.

The original reason I came in is sizing. This is a project, right? Being a small and petite woman currently is difficult. I don’t have a 32 inseam. Think 26-27. It’s all about clothing sizes.

EBurns and I on Stylers Panel
I’m very tiny and wear a lot of heels ( far right, Styler’s Panel Beverly Hills, 2015)

I’ll let you in on a secret. When sizing your clothes, a size small, to a size medium, goes up 2 inches, by industry standards. This means you size small 2, goes up two inches in waist, shoulder and hips. It also means your could be a size S could be a 0-6, or your medium, 4-10. Also a garment producer can leave up to 2 inches less or more in the trial run, later to be corrected by the designer.

Let’s look at the fit of these items. I tried two size small dresses. One is a lined, dress shirt in, the other tight fitting number I thought was the display dress.

Not the black dress on display, this had a curled hem, the display straight.

The shirt dress is more like a Medium, except in the shoulders. I found the sleeves extra long and the waist for too baggy for any small.

Now here’s something fun to try. Get the shirt you like in two different colors, same size. Try them on? Guess what?!

Forever 21 has actually sized these differently. I found the burgundy shirt fit more comfortably, and the white fit like and extra small. There is the possibility of stretching from trying on, but everything fit he same in the waist, chest and shoulders. One was just smaller. This is an issue of Quality Control. In retail we are generally strict about that.

I’d like to voice my opinion on cleanliness. See the dirt on the dress? Not my camera, not my makeup ,but the floor did that, when I dropped everything. It makes me feel, a slight twinge of germaphobia to go in there.

A lone rubber band, piece of lint and 21 tag mixed with dirt from every human who entered.

Lastly the cashiers. less side-eye please. Your clothes were dirty because of your dressing room, and floor. They fit terribly with bunching and over or under sizing. This customer is buying your ill fitted clothing and paying your wages. I feel your pain, but it’s retail. Considering the hell I just went through, standing in line, and dealing with ill fitting clothes, be nice.

Honestly, I feel more, buy it, try it on at home vibe, then welcome to F21. I did however find a nice brush and hair bands I need in the impulse register area.

I have to thank them for cheap and affordable accessories and make up.

My final opinion is yes, I support them occasionally. In an over all store experience, they have problems. I hope they restructure and come out winning.

Karl Lagerfeld Passes at 85. Je Suis Triste: A Fond Farewell to a Fashion Icon.

Yesterday and today, the fashion world is in mourning. Karl Lagerfeld has died and the industry will never be the same. He was a cornerstone, a foundation, of the industry.

Karl Otto Lagerfeld was a creative director, fashion designer, artist, photographer, who lived in Paris.  Born in 1933 Karl was quick to learn, and branched out as soon as possible. By 1955, after living in Paris for two years, Lagerfeld entered a coat design competition sponsored by the International Wool Secretariat. He won the competition and became quick friends with Yves Saint Laurent, and was then hired by Pierre Balmain. He worked as Pierre Balmain’s assistant, and later apprentice, for three years. (Wikipedia)

Most importantly in the 1980s, when Chanel was antiquated and dying, he took over. He turned it into the multi-billion dollar empire that we know and love today. Insane runways in the Palais in Paris full of rockets, crystals, industrial sites. and models fighting for a change. His collections have met us at the beach and had us walk on water. Never a dull moment his runways were and extension of his personality.

His last show, 2019, Palais de Paris, Haute Couture

With his death may have shared their stories. Models like Naomi Campbell, and Karen Elson, speak warmly of him. Others, say he was a sizist and misogynist. Perhaps, he was a bit of both, he was known to be cruel at times. Karl, however, made a point of saying,

“Everything I say is a joke. I am a joke of myself.”

Karl was indeed a man of great talent. His vision and vast knowledge made and broke careers. He was known for his acerbic wit and sometimes, brutally honest personality.

Karl Lagerfeld, was one thing. Larger than life. He created, made, spoke fashion. He made the industry what we see today. He has left a legacy for us to build upon. Let us hope that we choose to do the right thing with it.

Karls Interview with Suzy Menkes on how he wants to be remembered

Spring/Summer 2018 Trends: Bringing Back the 80’s

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(Photo of Stella McCartney SS 2018)

This Spring it’s all or nothing. A nod to the past has brought back defined shapes and a play on colors. Put away your floral’s and head to the stores to pick up your favorite look  with an 80’s flare. Shoulder pads are in and demure is out. These looks are soft but tough. Vintage, yet modern.

Classy ladies wear pastels;

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At Tom Ford, Gigi Hadid and other supermodels, are wearing pretty pastel pink and yellow. The bold splash of color teases the eye but doesn’t dominate the outfit. Other favorites on the runway consisted of baby blue and a pale or mint green. This season has a sweet statement, with light beauty makeup, a classic closed toe heel, glitterati sparkle, finishing off the look with a splash of color.

Mix and match with a dash of color yet not overpowering. Embrace the suit jacket and boxed shoulder. Skips the nudes and head for pastels. It’s an update, with a nod to the classics, and modern update.

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In the history of fashion the 1970s were all about nudes, browns, and stylistically very much about ruffles and loose clothing. In the mid 1980’s there was a huge backlash to the constant earth tones and relaxed style of clothing  and woman embraced striking color, square figures and streamlined looks. 1980’s inspired looks are full of bright colors, animal and cartoon prints, finding their niche on the runway and back into the fashion fold in 2018.

Color me pretty;

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(Versace SS 2018)

Spring/Summer brings color back to the fashion market. This season’s statement is all about the bold and beautiful.  Often seen on the runways of Moschino, The Blonds and jewelry designer Lynn Ban, extreme color is no longer a closet trend.

Seen on 2018’s Spring collection’s we are embracing the adventurous. Animal prints, crazy cartoons, hot pink and orange, electric blues, these have come back in a totally eclipsing way. It’s time to embrace the 80’s colors but instead of being over-sized, mixing and matching, keep your outfit a focused and fearless outline. Bust out your leopard, zebra and giraffe prints. The 80’s are roaring and it’s time you caught up.

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(Photo LA Times)

Having lived through the 80’s as a child, I missed this playful era of fashion. It means dusting off a dated era and adding an update that makes gives it a contemporary look. Looks that are simplistic, yet eye catching in their statement. Shoulder pads are making a comeback the right way this time, and print’s with color are inspiring and acceptable again. Streamlining your look makes it easy to find an outfit in your closet, no more messy mix and match. Floral’s and 90’s inspired grunge, have given way to much stronger use of colors, even in pastel.

Color, no matter how you wear it is in, and the 1980’s style has a very strong foothold.

Glass Magazine Chanel Editorial – Summer 2017

What do we love? Chanel. Who else do we love? Glass Magazine. Why?

Recently I have been making friends with the people over at Glass Magazine. By friends, I actually mean Facebook and Instagram friends. This of course will be remedied by me being awesome in their proximity and vice versa. Life goals people.

I’m especially enjoying the work of the Stylist, who works with Glass regularly, Katie Felstead. She is genius and makes everything from modern, edginess too romantic styles look brilliant. You know I don’t give accolades to other Stylist’s unless they are balls out amazing.

Back to this amazing editorial. Chanel is one of those amazing labels that every country understands. Say Chanel anywhere in the world (except maybe the deep amazon, though maybe there too) and it’s recognized as a brand with integrity, quality that costs big bucks.

Glass Magazine produced a wonderful Chanel editorial shoot that’s soft, beautiful and sexy. Giving us the sense of a gentle and delicate Chanel woman.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

PHOTOGRAPHER / TURKINA FASO
STYLIST / KATIE FELSTEAD
MODEL / SARA DIJKINK @ Premier
HAIR / PAUL DONOVAN
MAKE UP / PORSCHE POON
MANICURE / NICKIE RHODES-HILL
PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT / PASCAL HUBNER
CASTING / PAUL ISAAC

Pulman hotel / London 2017

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Vogue Brasils ‘Josephine’ brings sexy colors to this month’s issue!

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I like to see diversity in fashion. More than anything, I like to see expressive artist/designers bringing  a little crazy. This months ‘Josephine’ editorial is just that. It’s it’s got a whole lotta va-va-voom and some serious, cha-cha.

My favorite part? FIERCE COLOR!!! It’s summer and we all want to bring the color out of the closet, and get inspired. This vivid imagery and emotion made me feel THAT INTENSITY. I must say, this is the beginning of a love affair. A love affair with Vogue Brasil.

 

 

 

Wildfox Summer 2017, model Lauren de Graaf, shot by Mark Hunter

Hooray it’s summer! That means fabulous clothes, tons of sun and fabulous editorials. I was thing of something very ‘artistique’, but then I realized not all editorials need to be have to be mind blowing, sometimes you just want to have something simple, and gorgeous.

With that I give a sexy, fun, frolicking editorial from are friends over at Wildfox.

Known for their flirty, simple style Wildfox has always been a West Coast favorite. Their dresses in this editorial are light and flowery, their shirts make me want to wear them. In other words a wardrobe must have. They are my summer clothing staple, and I must have the entire collection. Excuse me while go shopping….

Here’s Lauren de Graaf giving us full on Wildfox girl!

Hollyrod Foundation Design Care 2015 #StylistDiaries #20Models #Charity #AutismAwareness

I’ve ditched all my vices these days in favor of becoming an adrenaline junkie. There is nothing more exhilarating in my life than being thrown into an extreme situation. I live for it. That’swhy when I get offered a 20 model fashion show, I can NEVER say no.

When I was asked to help out with the amazing yearly Hollyrod Foundation Designcare 2015 event to tap a quality designer I said yes. In the past they have worked with fashion superstars such as Naem Khan and Emmauel Ungaro. Finding a fit in Los Angeles would be difficult but not impossible. I have great connections, and know even better designers. I tapped the stunningly talented Adolfo Sanchez and within 24 hours he and the amazing , Holly Peete Robinson and Hollyrod Foundation were working together.

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Backstage Army, Adolfo Sanchez and I

 

Once you commit and find someone that is high caliber to a charity event this size things get out of control. First you get the designer, than you get tapped to help, than you are the Key Stylist for 20 models, in 20 looks with two personal assistants. The models were gorgeous, the dresses were beautiful, and made me remember why I got in this business 8+ years ago, and the cause was worth working for.

 

Backstage was small but we managed to get all the girls in their dresses and looking stunning. All the headpieces, crowns, etc were provided by the lovely Fiori Couture. She makes the most magical fantasy pieces of couture you have ever seen.

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Model Natalie in Fiori Couture crown and corset.

 

Chaz Dean Studio provided Hair and make up s our girls looked professionaly made over. Backstage was cramped but we managed to get everyone in their dresses, head dresses with matching accessories.

This is backstage;

We even had fresh flowers thanks to @VSanchezFlowers from Orange county.

Believe it or not this hot mess turns into the most beautiful, and well coordinated show you have ever seen. This is what we managed.

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Overall this was a fantastic event to be part of. I got to be head/Key Stylist, had amazing assistants and co-workers .

HUGE thanks to Traci May Wagner for taking over backstage, she is an OG industry professional who works around the world and I was lucky to have her.

Check out May Wagner PR

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Marie Bargas and Drea Johnson for helping me. Dressing models in dresses with 15-foot trains is no joke.

Drea, Marie and I in our dressing room.

Drea, Marie and I in our dressing room.

 

Special thanks to the Hollyrod Foundation for including me in their event. They are amazingly professional, and they are doing their part to help educate families and children with Autism and give them the tools they need to to be strong, and overcome adversity and learning disability.

Check out the Hollyrod Foundation, by clicking below, and donate whatever you can to this fabulous cause. Or go to http://www.hollyrod.org/ to learn more.

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Holly Peete and the Hollyrod Organization

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